UK: Severe penalty for texting motorists in Wales

Motorists in South Wales beware, if you are in the habit of reading or sending text messages while driving, you may be in for a big ticket.

To scotch the text messaging habits of motorists, the Traffic Police Department in South Wales have raised the fine by a whooping margin — from £30 to £1000. As if this was not enough, the offence will also raise the insurance obligations of offenders as an entry of additional six points will be made to his driver’s license. This astronomical increase has been brought under effect as per UK’s “driving without due care and attention” statute, wherein fines can even shoot up to £2500.

After bringing in new laws, the traffic cops can stop anyone seen looking down while driving to check if the motorist is sending or receiving a text message on his mobile phone or Blackberry-style device. South Wales police has also planned to use long-range cameras to issue expensive photo tickets for the offence. In 2004, in some parts of the UK, such cameras were used to detect minor seat belts and phone violations and the result was astounding with 20,290 motorists given camera tickets. These cameras could also be deployed throughout the country by 2005 end.


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